Goals from Rodolfo Pizarro and Elias Hernandez helped Mexico finish their 2017 Gold Cup preparation with a 2-1 win over Paraguay on Saturday.
Mexico dominated early against a Paraguay side that found themselves behind after just 19 minutes. After some brilliance from the Paraguay goalkeeper, Rodolfo Pizarro made no mistake from inside the box, placing a shot into the back of the net to fire El Tri into the lead.
Así marcó Rodolfo Pizarro el golazo que abrió el marcador a favor de México pic.twitter.com/uURNkvmPY4— Univision Deportes (@UnivisionSports) July 2, 2017
The goal had instant effect on the tempo of the game, and Mexico capitalized by scoring a second moments later. In the 26th minute, a penalty was called after Elias Hernandez was pulled down inside the box. Hernandez, who scored the lone goal in Mexico’s last game against Ghana, stepped up and put the score at 2-0.
Así anotó Elias Hernández desde los 11 pasos el segundo gol para México pic.twitter.com/b1NelVnEBZ— Univision Deportes (@UnivisionSports) July 2, 2017
Despite being down 2-0, it was surprising to see the Paraguayan national team match Mexico’s intensity, and a warning this was not going to be an easy evening came at the stroke of halftime. After having his initial effort denied by the woodwork, Antonio Bareiro picked up his own rebound to beat Jose de Jesus Corona and pull the South Americans within one.
In the second half, Mexico received a big blow when Alan Pulido looked to pick up a serious shoulder injury after a midair collision.
Paraguay then pushed their lines forward in search of an equalizer, but it would take another moment of brilliance, something that never happened for Paraguay, as Mexico eventually held on for the 2-1 victory.
Mexico next take the field in their Gold Cup debut against El Salvador, next Sunday in San Diego.